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National FDI policy competition and the changing international investment regime

Sauvant, Karl P.

Dr. SKB Asante was the leading in-house expert on matters related to investment policymaking, both at the national and international levels, at the United Nations Centre on Transnational Corporations. Regarding the national level, he brought his knowledge to bear on the Centre’s technical assistance programme, advising countries on how to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and benefit from it. In issues regarding the international level, Dr. Asante was actively involved in the negotiations on the United Nations Code of Conduct, not only in terms of advising delegates on highly complex technical questions in the negotiations, but also in terms of insightfully publishing on that subject. This contribution to this Festschrift focuses therefore on national and international investment policy issues. At the national level, the focus is on policies aimed at competing for, and benefiting more from, FDI, as well as policies supporting outward FDI. At the international level, the focus is on the rise of bilateral investment treaties and the changing perspectives of developed and developing countries on the international investment regime. It discusses not only where we stand today in these areas, but it identifies also some of the challenges we face. These challenges arise from the growth of FDI, which is the culmination of the emergence of an integrated international production system established by multinational enterprises (MNEs) through a myriad of equity and non-equity relationships and the evolution of national and international investment policies. The growth of FDI, an integrated international production system, and the global value chains associated with it was possible because of an enabling policy framework, both at the national and international levels. The hallmarks of this framework are that countries not only allow FDI to take place, but actively seek to attract and protect it through international investment agreements, especially bilateral investment treaties.


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Also Published In

A Commitment to Law, Development and Public Policy: A Festschrift in Honour of Nana Dr. Skb Asante
Wildy, Simmonds & Hill Publishing

More About This Work

Academic Units
Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Published Here
February 8, 2017